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Spafford hires attorney, plans for building repairs

The Spafford Town Board plans to replace the roof on town hall this year in addition to renovations to the highway department building.

The Spafford Town Board plans to replace the roof on town hall this year in addition to renovations to the highway department building. Photo by Joe Genco.

The Spafford Town Board authorized the hiring of a new attorney and code enforcement officer at its Feb. 13 meeting.

The town’s new attorney will be Scott Chatfield, an independently practicing attorney with municipal experience who lives in Otisco. Chatfield will attend town board, planning board and zoning board of appeals meetings which will be a great help to town officials, Supervisor Mary Bean said.

“Scott is immediately available to me all the time and I’ve also made it clear to board members and town officials that they can call him at any time with questions, he’s going to be on retainer,” Bean said.

In the past, the town used the legal services of Syracuse-based Hiscock and Barclay, but would rarely have a person in attendance at meetings.

Bean said she is hopeful that the new attorney will end up being less expensive for the town as he has already saved them money by resolving two litigation issues.

The town also hired Howard Tanner to be its permanent code enforcement officer. Tanner, who is also the code enforcement officer for the town of Sennett, had already been working in that capacity on a temporary basis dating back to 2013.

One of the big issues that the new attorney and codes officer will tackle is enforcement of zoning laws, especially pertaining to derelict buildings, Bean said. The board discussed legally demolishing a falling-down house at 66 Spafford Landing at its previous meeting.

The town also hopes to employ Chatfield’s expertise in zoning laws when it begins the process of developing a town comprehensive plan later this year, Bean said.

At the meeting, the board also discussed the matter of having repairs done to both the town hall and town highway department buildings. The town plans to replace the roof on town hall with a new steel roof and will do numerous repairs to the highway department building correct several health and safety code violations.

The board will hold a special work session meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 to discuss the repairs with the architect and engineers who were brought in to inspect the buildings and make a proposal for work. A contract for the work will be put out to bid in March, Bean said.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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